Despite the global coronavirus crisis, Estonian startups generated €364.5 million in turnover in the first six months of 2020, which marks an increase of 40 percent over the same period in 2019, Startup Estonia said on Thursday.
Among Estonian startups, the biggest turnovers were generated in the six-month period by Bolt (€132.7 million), Pipedrive (€30.6 million), Adcash (€16.5 million), Starship Technologies (€8.9 million), and Fiizy (€7.7 million).
Maarika Truu, manager of Startup Estonia, said that like many others, the startup sector is affected by COVID-19.
She added that despite the hectic times, growth can still be seen in the Estonian startup sector in terms of the number of employees, employment taxes paid, investments raised and turnovers.
Truu said in a press release: "At the same time, we need to consider that the COVID-19 outbreak has had its effect on startups' turnover as well. Compared to the first quarter, there was a decrease in turnover of -17 percent in the second quarter.
"Estonian startup sector has shown great resilience this year, starting the year with record-breaking news and celebrations from 2019 and riding straight into the COVID-19 related unknown. We were prepared for an even bigger impact by the pandemic reflected in our startup sector half-year statistics."
Statistics from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) show that at the end of the second quarter of 2020, Estonian startups employed 6,084 people locally, 15 percent more than the year before. However, employee numbers have grown by only 1 percent compared to the end of 2019, revealing a significant impact from COVID-19.
The top employers in the Estonian startup sector are Transferwise with 954 employees and 61 new hires, followed by Bolt with 547 employees and 48 new hires, Pipedrive with 386 employees, Veriff with 226 employees, and Monese with 140 employees.
According to Statistics Estonia (Statistikaamet), during the first six months of 2020, the average monthly gross salary in Estonian startups was €2,508, which is 1.8 times more than the Estonian average. Employees aged between 41-50 earn the biggest average monthly gross wage, €3,385, followed by employees aged between 31-40, whose average monthly gross wage is €2,932. The average monthly gross wage for foreign employees is €2,506.
Based on the crowdsourced database and Estonian Startup Database, a total of €142.7 million was invested into Estonian startups during the first half this year. In total, there have been 35 new investment deals this year. In the first half of 2019, there were 27 new investment deals, worth altogether €119 million.
The biggest investments in the first half of 2020 were raised by Bolt, €100 million, followed by Veriff with €14 million, Pactum with €2.7 million, Milrem Robotics with €2.7 million, Jobbatical with €2.6 million.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste